Health care costs are a very real concern for us. At one point last year I was paying 48% of my income directly to private health care insurance. Thankfully the Affordable Care Act was passed – I’m saving about $900 a month on my insurance alone now. BUT, the insurance isn’t as good as what I had before in many ways – I have to pay more in deductibles, and office visits cost more as well. I’m still coming out way ahead on the deal, but it’s frustrating and nerve-wracking.
The problem is, the system isn’t working for everyone the way it did for me. Here’s an NPR story that looks at the issue in a bit more depth:
I’m very tempted to write a detailed essay on my views on the matter, but I’ll restrain. I’ll settle by saying I’m very, very concerned about the views the leading conservative presidential candidates have on the issue. If we deregulate the health care insurance industry we leave ourselves open to more corporate greed demanding, in essence, “your money or your life.” Remember Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli? The young man who bought rights to a pharmaceutical and immediately (and quite legally) raised the price from around $13 a pill to over $750? The drug in question is a common, and very effective, treatment for an illness often suffered by people with compromised immune systems – people like my wife, for example, and those who are on chemotherapy treatments. Without the medication a person only has a 15% chance of survival. So it’s quite literally a question of your money or your life. Without government regulation, health care insurance companies could very easily follow Shkreli’s example.
And that scares me.